|The Conservatory at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens|
Last year I wrote about my trip to judge the Garden Club of Virginia Rose Show at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens in Richmond. I talked about the splendid blooms that stole the show, and the Butterflies Live! exhibit that stole my heart.
|Randy Scott, Courtesy Tom Mayhew|
Once again, Richmond’s Boxwood Garden Club treated the judges like visiting royalty by throwing a cocktail in the Lewis Ginter rose garden, followed by an excellent dinner (with lots of fine wine) in the Robins Tea House.
Lewis Ginter is a historic property (once owned by Patrick Henry) that features over 50 acres of gorgeous gardens and 9,000 types of plants. More than a dozen themed gardens include a Healing Garden, Sunken Garden, a Victorian garden, and an interactive Children’s Garden. There’s also a classical domed conservatory, a Garden Café, Tea Room and the most enticing gift shop I’ve visited.
|A recent addition, but a stunner|
The rose garden features more than 80 varieties and 1800 roses selected for repeat performance, fragrance and disease resistance. The visitors I saw were literally spoiled for choice when it came to finding the most sweetly scented blooms in the display.
|Crystalline, Courtesy Tom Mayhew|
If you are ever anywhere near Richmond, you owe it to yourself to take time to stop and see what I believe is one of the finest gardens in the east.
|Snuffy, Courtesy Tom Mayhew|
In the end, Randy Scott took top honors with Crystalline and Snuffy close behind as King and Princess.
|Dad, is that you?|
This year, a Chocolate Pansy (Junonia iphita) landed on the sleeve of my suit jacket and refused to budge. According to lore, this means a loved one from the past has come to say hello, or good luck will be coming my way. (I hope both legends are true.)
I also saw different varieties this trip including a False Zebra Longwing, Common Morpho, Mexican Bluewing and the Julia.
Sadly, the show moves on.
Our time there simply flew by. I will miss Lewis Ginter and many of my dear rose judging friends I don’t get to see very often now that we’ve moved to the mountains of North Carolina.
But between the hugs, the high class roses and high flying beauties, I have memories that will lift my spirits for months to come.